Throughout the developing world, there are an increasing number of entrepreneurs providing solutions to poverty, and there is also an increasing number of investors willing to allocate capital to these entrepreneurs in order for them to scale their operations, since only at scale can they realistically seek to meet their social missions.
What is the gritty reality of social investment? If I were being cruel I would start by misquoting a saying most frequently credited to the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius “Life is really simple, but lawyers insist on making it complicated. “
Big Society Capital, the UK-based Social Investment Institution, and Cambridge Associates, the global investment adviser, have pioneered a radical new approach for managing Treasury portfolios, in a move that could propel the UK’s social investment market to a new level.
When you invest socially, is your intention to gain or give? Premal Shah, President [and co-founder] of the social lending platform Kiva, asked this loaded question to a packed audience at this year’s Marmalade session on people-powered social investment.
The UK social investment market is widely recognised as one of the most advanced in the world. The market continues to grow, Big Society Capital estimate that it is now worth over £1.5 billion, spread over 3,500 investments, with a wide range of products. Government continues to support the market and has committed to strengthening the social investment marketplace by ensuring that future programmes make it as easy as possible for charities and social enterprises to access investment appropriate for them.
We often hear anecdotally of the number of charities and social enterprises that could take social investment and know many social investors are busy trying to find them. But given the hundreds of thousands of organisations in the social sector, it can often feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. So how can we better connect the right investors to the right charities and social enterprises?
Core Assets is a fostering and children’s services group based in Bromsgrove. As it reaches the milestone of young people in care now ‘graduating’ from the Social Impact Bond contract it delivers for Birmingham City Council, co-founder Jan Rees OBE reflects on the necessity to continually challenge the system to change vulnerable young people’s lives for the better.
When did tax get to be so interesting? I guess that’s an easy answer for us at Big Society Capital and our friends at Social Investment Scotland who this week announced seven new investments totalling £389k from their dedicated Social Investment Tax Relief Fund, Community Capital.
Last week, it was great to be able to participate in a discussion on social investment with the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Charities and Volunteering – the first time this topic had been discussed at length with parliamentarians interested in the voluntary sector.